AlloCiné: What’s up with your character? What happens in this second season of For All Mankind ?
Joel Kinnaman: This second season takes place 10 years after the first and in the 80s. We left the Baldwins, in the midst of tragedy, following the death of their child. We are in an extreme Cold War situation. It is therefore another reality than the one we have actually experienced. Edward is the head of the astronaut program on earth. It is a torn man that I had to interpret and it was therefore a film heavy in strong emotions. For me, it’s interesting to show the fragility of this American Hero and what he’s really made of. It was a particular challenge to be able to highlight one’s vulnerability and distress without overdoing it. It’s a delicate balance. In addition, I felt responsible towards all the parents who lost a child and I had to play this role with as much authenticity as possible. I hope I have lived up to it.
Michael Dorman: We find Gordo 10 years after the first season and he still seems a little lost… in space! His role is not as important in the space program and he’s trying to cash in that adjustment.
Sarah Jones: Tracy is on the contrary ultra active even if, after all these years, she has to face her own internal insecurities. She seems to want to question her life choices and tries to discern what seems to mean the most to her. But she and Gordo stay the course in their marriage.
Shantel VanSanten: I think it causes a mini emotional shock to find all of our characters 10 years after the end of the first season. They seem different in appearance, but deep down they are the same souls in search of adventure and to give meaning to their lives.
We are already in season 2 and a third is going into production. How do you explain the success of For All Mankind?
Joel Kinnaman: I think what makes the success of our series is the “historical” aspect, even if it is a “re-written” History. There is a nostalgic side, too, to going back in time that brings out personal memories. And then, then projecting into the future allows the audience to also project themselves and dream their own destiny. I believe that the fact that our series is anchored in reality allows the viewer to identify in part with the characters and their adventures.
Sarah Jones: Despite the extraordinary context in which these characters operate, they are nonetheless accessible as to their emotions. They are human like you and me and, I believe, the audience comes to identify with them and their adventures. I also think this series is a bit of an extension of what happened this year for all of us facing this pandemic. We are all a bit “confined” in an “insular” environment as our characters are in Space.
Michael Dorman: It’s so fascinating to follow this space adventure. We are all fascinated by Space and what can await us… up there!
Shantel VanSanten: I think the public likes our series because they find adventure, emotion, history. There is something for everyone.
What are the themes covered in this season?
Joel Kinnaman: I think at the heart of this series is an incomparable optimism in the face of life’s challenges. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t some dramatic situations or that the show doesn’t try to point the finger at what’s wrong with our society. But if we want change for our planet, we must dare to propose new solutions and paths. This is what this series does, humbly. How to inspire people and create a positive mindset. Which is not to say that we should not ignore the threats and the problems, since in this season we will find ourselves on the brink of nuclear war!
Sarah Jones: The theme that seems to me the most important and, which is at the heart of our preoccupations at the moment, is that of good communication between us. Without it we cannot survive, in space or on Earth. If an ego in a group takes over the rest of the community everything can go wrong.
Michael Dorman: Yes, more than ever we need to be honest, humble, between us. That’s who’s resort this season. You have to know how to be honest with yourself and others. Finally, the theme of hope and feeling at home again are high priorities for my character.
Shantel VanSanten: For me this season is a look at the concept of “war and peace”, as we find our heroes in an explosive situation that risks causing nuclear war. This causes extreme tensions between all of our characters. It is generally a series on the evolution of human progress, whether scientific or even societal. In 60 years of space exploration we have had a human exploration of our society which has largely fought for greater justice between men and women, between various ethnic groups. But, of course, we still have to fight to make more progress and strive for an even more just and equitable society for all. It’s a strong theme in this new season.
How to explain our perpetual fascination, seeing, obsession, for Space?
Joel Kinnaman: I think it’s part of our “human nature” to dream, to be fascinated by Space. No doubt because we are born explorers. And the exploration of Space is the ultimate human adventure for me. It is also an adventure that unites us, solidifies our human fabric. We have some successes that we can all be proud of together. Space is this great opportunity, especially for some time now with all the new space programs that we talk about in the media. Even look at people like Elon Musk with SpaceX who dreams of interplanetary travel. I agree with him and I believe in the near future! In addition, this pandemic has highlighted, even more, the fragility of our life on Earth. So I think we really have to try to go and see elsewhere if life is possible on another planet before it is too late.
Sarah Jones: Yeah, I’m fascinated with space programs and I have so much more respect for all the men and women who give their lives on these missions. As well as for all the scientists who accompany them, from a distance, up there. I can’t wait to see what the future of space conquest has in store. Ultimately it shows how much we need each other to survive as a humanity. It is a necessity, it is a duty.
Michael Dorman: What’s fascinating is the ton of work and effort that it takes to get this space conquest moving forward. I hope people feel less alone and better understood after seeing our series.
Shantel VanSanten: Like everyone else, I have been fascinated by Space since I was a child because I have visited the NASA Space Center in Houston, Texas several times. I have also always loved sleeping under the stars during the summer and letting my spirit soar into the universe. Without doubt it is the dream to find new energies for our planet and to develop new technologies. No doubt it is also an escape from our world which seems so fragile and more and more sinking in extremism and divisions. In any case, Space makes me curious and fills me with hope. The hope that our Humanity will survive despite all that we are going through. I also like the idea of space “collaboration” between our various countries as with the International Space Station. I think that beyond the competitive aspect for a military or commercial purpose, we can also work together to build a better tomorrow. I have faith in us and in our future.